Live…for One Night Only: The Synergy Between K-pop Pop Groups and Bands

Because writing about popular music seems to thrive on making distinctions between artists, genres and generations, it may be difficult to see the synergy between pop group and bands in K-pop. When we look at K-pop as an umbrella, it makes sense that pop groups, the “idol” groups that sing and dance while also undertaking…

How American Music Journalism Impacts K-pop

Recent comments by Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine, shed light on limited perceptions of K-pop perpetuated by mainstream media. In a piece written by Maureen Dowd for The New York Times, Wenner shares tales about his raucous times at the legendary publication. He also throws out his opinions about popular music in general….

2022 Recruitment for HWAITING! The K-pop Music Research Accelerator

Are you outside of academia yet do research on K-pop music or related topics? Are you an advanced undergrad or grad student researching K-pop music, but lack a research community? Do you want an opportunity to hone your analytic skills and publish on K-pop music? Consider applying to HWAITING! The K-pop Music Research Accelerator! HWAITING!: K-POP…

K-pop, Conventions and Concerts

As opportunities for fans to see K-pop artists live, both conventions and concerts factor prominently in fan practice. They also have a different impact on the perception of K-pop. On one hand, K-pop engagement events like KCON resemble the convention model, much like San Diego’s ComicCon. For example, KCON combines concerts, fan engagement with artists,…

KPK Seeks Members for Its K-pop Music Research Accelerator!

Are you outside of academia yet do research on K-pop music or related topics? Are you an advanced undergrad or grad student researching K-pop music, but lack a research community? Do you want an opportunity to hone your analytic skills and publish on K-pop music? Consider applying to HWAITING! The K-pop Music Research Accelerator! HWAITING!:…

MUSIC REVIEW: Sam Kim, Sun and Moon (2018)

By the time Sam Kim released Sun and Moon (2018), he had already established a reputation for mellow tracks with singles like “Don’t Worry Mama” and “Seattle,” both of which appear on his 2016 release, I Am Sam. Sun and Moon continues his signature style. Kim’s voice complements the acoustic and sparse instrumentation that frequently…

Spotify, YouTube and the Shaping of the K-pop Listening Audience

Spotify has become a benchmark for measuring K-pop success, but it limits the growth of the K-pop listening audience. Despite changes in its algorithm, YouTube remains the place to develop and grow as a K-pop listener because of the input of other K-pop fans. Spotify is recognized for spearheading the music streaming revolution, changing the…

The Quantification of K-pop

Numerical data dominates the discourse around K-pop. In order to get a fuller view, we need to contextualize those numbers with other kinds of information in order to understand K-pop’s worldwide appeal. With the focus on awards, streams, views and tweets, numbers lead the way we talk about K-pop. 2020 has seen K-pop venture into…

Dancing in September : Cultural Translation in Hallyu Performance

In order to comprehensively examine the hybrid nature of music and performance in the Korean wave,  we should recognize the multiple meanings embedded in these cultural modes that transcend language. This cultural translation is clearly illustrated in Lia Kim‘s choreography for Earth, Wind and Fire‘s “September,” a single released by the iconic R&B group in…

What We Are Listening To: “Keep It Simple” by Samuel Seo

Samuel Seo (Seo Donh-hyeon) released his first album in 2015. His 2018 album Unity features the track “Keep It Simple,” composed by Seo and arranged by Sung Ki-moon, Joseph Choi, Jaeho Kim and Jun Beck. Featuring jazz pianist, the track sports a sparse arrangement that allows the twinkling jazz piano and soft percussion to complement Seo’s…